Newburg standout Ward selected to MBCA Class 2 All-State Team.

Newburg High School boys’ basketball head coach Doug Ward called himself a “bit” player - albeit for a state tournament finals team - when he was in high school.

His wife, Nancy, was an all-state player back in the day at Waynesville High School.

Their son apparently takes after mom on the court, as he has joined her as an all-stater.

Ryan Ward, a 6-2 sophomore guard for the Newburg Wolves, has been named to the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association (MBCA) Class 2 Boys’ All-State Team, it was announced on Wednesday.

After a standout freshman campaign in which he averaged 17 points per game, Ryan Ward was even better in 2013-14. He was one of the highest-scoring players in central Missouri this past season.

Ward was averaging more than 25 points per game before suffering a concussion in mid-January which knocked him out of three games and affected his play in several others. He ended up averaging 23.1 points and reached the 1,000-point career mark with Newburg as a sophomore. He also averaged 5.1 rebounds, 3.1 steals, shot 50 percent from the field, 82 percent from the free throw line and a whopping 47 percent from three-point range (53-of-112).

The Wolves finished with a 14-12 record.

“At the time we were leaning on him to win games,” said Doug Ward, Ryan’s dad and coach. “I am proud of him...they pick 20 players out of the entire Class 2 for all-state. It’s a great honor. And you’ve got to give credit to his teammates, too; getting him the ball when he needs it to give us the best opportunity to win.”

“It was one of my goals,” Ryan said of the all-state honor. “I hoped to do it this year. But I couldn’t do it without my teammates. They made it possible.”

Doug Ward said there was a bullseye on Ryan’s back after his outstanding freshman season. After being all-state, that target will even be larger next season.

“We’ve got to build around him,” Coach Ward said. “We’ve got to get a lot of people who can play off of him.”

“I’m always looking for ways to step up my game,” Ryan said. “There is always someone up there who is better than you. I just work every day on my game.”

Another Frisco League player, Iberia senior forward Darrien Dickey, was named MBCA Class 2 boys’ Player of the Year.

Also from the Frisco League:

Junior Lane Duncan from Licking was named to the Class 3 All-State Boys’ Team; junior Megan Smith of Licking was named to the Class 3 Girls’ Team, and on the Class 2 Girls’ Team Crocker sophomore Lindsay Medlen, Laquey senior Maura Skidmore and Plato junior Kaylea Kimrey were selected.

MBCA Class 2 Boys’ All-State Team:
Darrien Dickey, sr., Iberia
Stefan Cox, sr., Sacred Heart
Adam Roe, sr., West Platte
Bryce Cashman, sr., West Platte
Tyler Niemann, sr., Canton
Levi Hargrove, sr., Thayer
Brad Roberts, sr., Cairo
Justin Washington, sr., Crane
Lane Below, sr., Advance
Michael Porter, fr., Father Tolton
Kenny Lesley, jr., Elsberry
Brady Francis, jr., Salisbury
Frankie Burden, sr., Hayti
Thomas Ritter, jr., Gainesville
Dawson Meyer, sr., Billings
Jacob Schwengerdt, sr., Sweet Springs
Jacob Smith, jr., Winona
Gabe McKenzie, jr., Canton
Ryan Ward, so., Newburg
B.J. Jennings, sr., Bernie
Jacob Murray, jr., Osceola
Coach of the Year: Steve Goodwin, Sacred Heart
Player of the Year: Darrien Dickey, Iberia